Bad Breath - How To Get Rid Of It?

Date of publication: 01.12.2016
Date of edit: 30.01.2023
  • What to do if you have a bad smell?
  • How can you detect bad smell?
  • What causes a bad smell?
  • Dental causes
  • Temporary bad smell
  • Non-dental causes
  • Causes of bad breath that are not related to the disease
  • Bad breath treatment
  • How to remove bad breath at home?
  • Prevention of bad breath
  • 5 simple rules for fresh breath from Lumi-Dent dental clinic network


Dentist-therapist of the Lumi-Dent dental clinic network - Lebedeva Eugenia Ivanivna talks about such unpleasant problem as a bad smell. 

It will be interesting.


What to do if you have a bad smell?

Bad breath is not so much an aesthetic problem as it is a medical one.

Bad breath is a situation that causes inconvenience not only to adults or children, but also to those who know them. In some cases, bad breath produces a repulsive effect, which can provoke psychological obstacles in communicating with other people. In such a situation, a person can generally retreat into himself.

A bad smell is not a disease, but it may indicate systemic physical and mental health problems.

  • why is there a bad smell, especially in the morning?
  • how to get rid, eliminate and hide a bad smell?
  • how to be treated to forget about a bad smell forever?

Specialists of the Lumi-Dent dental clinic network treat the problem of bad breath every day, and they are always ready to help to get rid of bad breath for good.


Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


Halitosis is the term used in medical dental practice to refer to a bad smell. However, it should not be attributed to the reference book of human medical diseases.

This term was once coined to promote mouth odor fresheners, and it is not a pathology. Most likely, this is a collective concept of an unpleasant smell that a person exhales.

A bad smell, bad breath, the effects of recently eaten onions or drinking tomato juice - all this is halitosis.

It can be pathological when the following diseases are the cause of a bad smell:

  • oral cavity;
  • maxillofacial joints;
  • internal organs (smell from the throat).

There is also a non-pathological (temporary) and imaginary smell, which is provoked by the psychological conditions of the patient. The term bad breath is derived from the Latin halitus (to breathe) and the Greek osis (disease), so it includes anything that can be classified as an unpleasant or unhealthy odor from the mouth.


Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent

How can you detect bad smell?

It is not difficult to find out about it - close people will surely tell you about the presence of an unpleasant acetic or sour smell in the mouth. Such diagnosis is unpleasant - the issue of smell is still a delicate one, therefore it is desirable to control the freshness of breath without the participation of outsiders.

How to self-diagnose bad breath in the morning:

  • collect a plaque from the tongue with a spoon (material for studying the presence of a smell);
  • wash your hands, lightly touch the back of your hand with your tongue and test the smell (similar to trying perfumes);
  • collect a small amount of saliva in a small container (the smell will not be felt so strong, but it will be enough for conclusions).

What causes a bad smell?

Where does the strong bad smell come from?

A bad smell is a consequence of disturbances in the body, and a temporary stench appears after eating strong-smelling foods. It can be long and constant, or intermittent.

If you periodically smell bad from your mouth, intervention may not be required, but the chronic presence of a bad smell is a serious problem that you can and should work with.

A strong bad smell usually occurs when the patient has:

  • various acute and chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • intestinal pathology;
  • ENT diseases;
  • lung diseases;
  • dental diseases (gingivitis, periodontitis, stomatitis);
  • a bad smell should not be ruled out due to plaque due to poor-quality hygienic brushing of teeth.

The reason for the smell of rot in the mouth is often the mouth itself (dental symptoms). A rather aggressive microflora is constantly present in the mouth, fueled by plaque on the tongue, teeth, and mucous membranes.

The nature of bad breath determines the type of sulfur and non-sulfur compounds produced as a result of reactions within the microflora.

bad breath photo Lumident


The types of volatile sulfur compounds are:

  • methyl mercaptan, which causes a strong smell with a terrible taste of rotten meat (rotten air). The aroma of rotten meat is very rare in humans;
  • dimethyl disulfide or propyl mercaptan (smells bad with a bitter aroma, strong and pungent);
  • allylmercaptan (bad smell of garlic, garlic aroma);
  • carbon disulfide (smell with a pungent odor);
  • dimethyl sulfide provokes a smell with a taste of sulfur, sometimes something similar to gasoline vapors is mixed with it;
  • hydrogen sulfide is a source of putrid bad breath. This is the smell of rot from the mouth with a pronounced shade of rotten egg.

Types of non-sulfur compounds that can be produced in the mouth:

  • putrescine is easily recognizable by its putrid bad breath;
  • ammonia (its presence usually indicates systemic problems of a dental and endocrine nature, it smells strongly and sharply);
  • cadaverine;
  • isovaleric acid causes a terrible foul stench, bad breath with pronounced "shades" of sweat or spoiled cheese.

Everything is much easier if the breath becomes bad due to the foods consumed. A bad onion or garlic bad aroma (strong smell of garlic or onions) - may indicate that a person has recently consumed phytoncides.

This is good for flu prevention, but before going outside after eating garlic or onions, you should wait a bit, brush your teeth and drink green tea. Few people know, but some citrus fruits and natural orange juice leave an unpleasant sour breath.

Dental causes

If the cause of a bad smell is in the mouth, then it is usually the waste products of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and gum mucosa overnight, and in the morning give out a maximum of a bad smell.

More than 80% of the causes of bad breath are dental, namely:

  • caries or pulpitis;
  • diseases of the soft tissues of the oral cavity;
  • gum disease (bad smell from periodontal pockets);
  • a purulent bad smell can come from the third molar when there is pericoronitis (inflammation of the mucous pocket during the eruption of the eighth teeth);
  • worn or poorly fitted dentures smell rotten (if you have bridges or single dentures and there are no obvious sources, there is a high probability of a fetid bad smell due to dental crowns);
  • bad breath due to improperly placed bite correction devices (orthodontic appliances or braces);
  • an unpleasant smell of medicine after any dental procedures, or after ingesting any medicine with a strong aroma;
  • the cause may be poor hygiene and improperly selected products for it. 

Photo. Admission to the Lumi-Dent dental clinic.

Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


Temporary bad smell

A temporary bad smell is caused by:

  • onion;
  • garlic;
  • broccoli;
  • carbonated drinks;
  • coffee;
  • alcohol-containing products;
  • tobacco.

You can achieve perfectly fresh breath from your mouth in just a few days if you remove everything from your diet that provokes it.

To eliminate bad breath, we recommend doing a hygienic cleaning of your teeth in the clinic - it will keep your gums healthy and help get rid of tartar, which significantly increases food accumulation and provokes permanent plaque.

Non-dental causes

Non-dental provocateurs include:

  • diabetes (smells like acetone);
  • poisoning (if it is an intestinal infection, it stinks from the throat with acetone or sour acetic "bouquet");
  • chronic lung disease (COPD) and bronchi (asthma);
  • digestive disorders after exhausting diets;
  • nephatony (smells bad from the throat with different “aromas” - from a feeling of rot (putrid accent) to a slight metallic taste);
  • oncology;
  • delayed treatment of ARVI leads to accumulation of foul-smelling mucus in the nasopharynx, which causes an unpleasant odor from the throat;
  • pancreatic disease (unpleasantly smells of bitter amber);
  • in violation of the digestive tract, a sour bad smell often occurs in the mouth. Sour breath is associated with the products of the reaction of gastric juice with food.
  • Bad breath can occur after prolonged fasting or undergoing a body cleansing program. Sometimes closer to dinner, a sour accent can occur in the exhaled air if a person has not eaten anything for breakfast (digestion processes are underway, aromas rise through an empty esophagus, you can easily and tasty eliminate such a smell - you need to have lunch).
  • Stress is another dangerous cause of bad breath, it triggers the active production of cortisol and adrenaline - the perfect combination for the rapid reproduction of bacteria. Taking medications that have dry mouth as a side effect can also affect bad breath patterns.

Photo before and after professional cleaning at the dentist Lumi-Dent.

Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


Bad breath treatment

The causes of bad breath of a dental nature can be hidden in the condition of the teeth, gums, soft tissues of the palate, tongue.

The factors that cause bad breath are temporary and permanent: to hide a temporary bad odor, it is enough to remove foods that provoke it from the diet, carry out hygiene procedures, and use special refreshing products. 

Bad breath is a combination of volatile bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and gum mucosa.

Like any other disease, severe bad breath can have a variety of causes. Therefore, before starting treatment, you need to accurately identify the cause of bad breath.

So, in some cases, it can remove an unpleasant odor from the throat - treatment of the cause of the disease. That is, if there are problems in the gastrointestinal tract or dentistry, then there should be appropriate medication with prescribed medications.

Constant bad breath needs to be dealt with, but this can only be done by finding the source of bad breath. In 80% of cases, it is a matter of oral health, we recommend starting with a free consultation at the Lumi-Dent dental clinic closest to you.

Photos before and after removal of dental plaque.

bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


What will it give:

  • the doctor will examine the oral cavity and detect any signs of disease;
  • depending on the results of the examination, the specialist will recommend an effective treatment plan;
  • you will be able to make an informed decision when to begin the procedures to eliminate the causes of bad breath, and how to carry them out, without breaking away from a convenient schedule of life and work.

Having decided on the treatment of bad breath odor in adults, you can begin to eliminate it.

To do this, they carry out sanitation of the oral cavity, treatment of caries, periodontitis, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

If bad breath is caused not by a general illness of the body, but by some disease or deviation in the oral cavity:

  • we will inspect;
  • if necessary - we will do an X-ray examination;
  • we will identify the problem area;
  • we will treat it.

Photo. The process of professional cleaning of dental calculus in Lumi-Dent.

Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


In most cases, a number of simple procedures help to remove bad breath (selected according to the results of the examination and diagnosis of the patient):

  • professional cleaning (sanation of the oral cavity);
  • molar eruption control (if it is an unpleasant odor from the third molar);
  • replacement of old dentures and crowns;
  • treatment of caries - the most common cause of bad breath in adults;
  • condition control, treatment and prevention of gum disease. 

How to remove bad breath at home?

To effectively treat the smell at home, you should follow some simple rules:

  • It is necessary to thoroughly brush your teeth, especially between the teeth, after eating, regularly remove plaque from the tongue.
  • An effective remedy is rinsing the house after eating with this solution: a glass of water + 3 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide 3%. This solution helps to suppress the growth of putrefactive bacteria in the oral cavity.
  • What else can be done to remove bad smell at home? You can adjust your diet: reduce the consumption of sugar and sweet foods as much as possible, eat more acidic fruits (oranges, apples).
  • Sugar provokes the accelerated growth of microbes and fungi in the mouth.
  • It is also necessary to visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for an examination and hygienic professional ultrasonic cleaning of the teeth. All microbial flora that produces a bad smell lives and multiplies on the surface of hard dental deposits, which are located in the gum pockets of the teeth, below the gum level.
  • Removing the dental deposit will result in a significant reduction in inflammation and bleeding of the gums, and a reduction in bad breath.
  • All teeth must be sanitized and treated - caries is cured and old fillings are replaced. Rational dental prosthetics should be carried out if necessary.

Photos before and after caries treatment in Lumi-Dent.

Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent 

Prevention of bad breath

To consolidate the result and always delight others with fresh breath, remember the importance of daily hygiene of teeth, gums, tongue, and proper and wholesome nutrition:

  • If you brush your teeth at least 2-3 times a day (morning, evening, afternoon), the likelihood of bad breath will rush to zero.
  • Additionally, dental floss should be used to clean the interdental spaces from food debris. These are places where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • It is also advisable to brush the mucous surface of the cheeks and tongue with a brush, as these are also places of intensive reproduction of harmful bacteria.
  • Finish hygiene procedures by rinsing with a solution of dental rinse, these drugs are sold in pharmacies. Examples of tooth rinses are the products of the companies Lacalut, Oracept, Listerine.

The second condition (if you do not want bad breath to appear) is a well-organized diet.

The rules of eating are simple, and every adult or child can follow them if you take a few minutes to plan your meal:

  • daily light, high-calcium breakfast will help strengthen your teeth;
  • for lunch and dinner, you should limit the consumption of foods with pronounced sour, bitter and spicy tastes (minimum eggs, peppers, smoked meats);
  • limit the amount of sweets and add more fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner (carrots, apples and pears are especially good for breathing);
  • remember to consume enough clean water.

It is necessary to get rid of bad habits firmly and decisively, otherwise it will not work to remove the smell from the mouth forever. The passion of adults for smoking and alcoholic beverages is favorable conditions for chronic bad breath.

Nature has made sure that our body protects itself from natural risks. In the case of microbes in the oral cavity, this protection is realized through saliva. If it is not enough, a person may develop bad breath.

That is why it is so important for you or your child to use drugs to facilitate nasal breathing and drink more fluids when you have a cold. Drying of the mucous membranes is one of the most common problems that leads to the active reproduction of bacteria, and starts to smell bad from the mouth.

Photo. The team of dentists of the Lumi-Dent clinics' network.

Bad breath photo Lumi-Dent


5 simple rules for fresh breath from Lumi-Dent dental clinic network

Among the regular patients of our clinics, there are practically no adults and children suffering from bad breath.

Because they follow simple barrier gestures at home for adults and children from our specialists.

How to get rid of bad breath at home forever?

Most likely, it will not be possible to permanently remove bad breath, but you can significantly influence it by following the following rules for you and your children:

  • Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day using floss.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after every eating.
  • Limit the amount of foods that provoke unpleasant effects (onions, garlic and coffee).
  • Freshen your breath with special sprays (or preparations that can be used to rinse the cavity).
  • At least 2 times a year visit our specialists to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

To get a full consultation on this issue, you and your children can contact the doctors of any of the clinics of the Lumi-Dent dental clinic network in Kyiv.    

Summary statistics on the number of services provided by the Lumi-Dent dental clinic network in Kyiv for 2022:

Comprehensive teeth cleaning 3610
Professional teeth whitening 484
Extraction of third molars 870


Together with us you will always have a pleasant and fresh breath, a beautiful smile, and self-confidence!

Frequently asked questions and answers
What to do if there is an unpleasant smell from under the crown?

Probably, the cement was washed out under the old crown, and caries began. In addition, you can smell rotting food under the crown, which is clogged there. What to do:

  • crown needs to be removed.
  • treat a tooth
  • put in a new prosthesis. 
Why does the smell of the tooth appear after the treatment?

The most common cause is the smell of drugs used in the treatment. There are a number of products with a strong odor, especially used in cleaning and root canal therapy.

In addition, temporary filling materials based on zinc oxide, eugenol, used by the dentist, can cause the smell after treatment. 

This should be treated calmly and with understanding. After the end of all procedures, any such aromas will surely pass.

What to do if there is a smell from the mouth after tooth extraction?

There can be several reasons for an unpleasant odor after removal:

  1. The smell of medicine. Often, after a tooth is pulled out, a blood clot does not form in the hole, which is a protective barrier for infection to enter the bone. In this case, the dentist puts a swab with iodoform, or similar preparations, into the hole. They can give persistent bad breath. With this option, you do not need to do anything, you just need to wait 1-2 weeks until the removal area heals;
  2. The smell of pus from the mouth is a bad sign. This suggests that an infection has penetrated into the place of tooth extraction, and purulent inflammation has occurred. Usually with a purulent smell, aching pains in the jaw occur, swelling may appear and the temperature rises. In this case, you must immediately contact your doctor. The specialist will clean the site of the operation, and most likely put the iodoform-based drugs described above.
What does the terrible smell from the third molar say?

A bad smell indicates pericoronitis - purulent inflammation of the gum pocket near the figure eight. 

Usually, along with the smell, there are other symptoms of inflammation around the eighth tooth:

  1. Pain on pressing and swallowing;
  2. Difficulty opening the mouth;
  3. Swelling of the gums near the wisdom tooth.
What are folk cures for bad breath?

Here are some tips to help you at home:

  1. Drink enough liquid. Insufficient drinking leads to a decrease in the amount of saliva, which causes increased reproduction of bacteria that produce volatile substances that stink;
  2. Chew on mint leaves or fennel seeds;
  3. Regular oral hygiene after eating;
  4. Dissolve in the mouth tablets septogal, imudon, hydroperit;
  5. Use special sprays to freshen your breath;
  6. From folk remedies, to remove a bad smell, you can also rinse your mouth with decoctions of wormwood, sage, chamomile, St. John's wort, sorrel;
  7. You can drink herbal tea;
  8. You can chew coffee beans;
  9. Eat several apples on an empty stomach. 
This service is provided in our clinics by dentists
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